1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Schalk Joubert”

Riempies/Bamboesbos – Sons Of Trout

Tassenberg All Stars 3

Tassenberg All Stars 3

This one is a bit of fun from the offspring of Mr Trout. Recorded live at the Tassenberg Stalteater in Oudsthoorn, this sounds a bit like it was played late in the evening when almal was lekker gesuip and dancing around with abandonment. It starts with a lekker ay-chikka-lay guitar and is soon joined in this dance by a rusty fiddle.

The song harks back to old style Cape music, somewhat similar to what David Kramer highlighted in his Karoo Kitaar Blues project. The boys in Sons of Trout take turns with vocals which tell stories in a similar way that the Karoo Kitaar Blues players do. A fine example is the bit that goes ‘I had a girl and she love me so/she stays down there where the lillies grow/she rides with me on my handlebars/but I’m saving up for a donkey cart.

This track is drenched in the Karoo and the traditions of that part of the Cape. It also has all the sunshine of a typical day in that part of the world. It will have you doing that knees bent kind of twist type dancing that Kramer does so well. This is not a typical Sons of Trout song. It sounds like they were just messing around at the end of their set, but it turns into a bit of a classic and those in charge of selecting the tracks for the 3rd in the Tassenberg All Stars CD’s thankfully recognised this.

Sadly, unless you have a copy of the CD, you will probably struggle to find this track. There is a version of ‘Riempies’ by Mikanic (who feature guys from Sons of Trout), Riaan van Rensburg and Schalk Joubert to be found on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/3xNEtdG0BCJ1cHE3WWtKa3) and while this version captures something of the feel of the Sons of Trout version, it sounds like a studio version and lacks the rawness of the live version, but it is a good substitute if you can’t lay your hands on the Sons of Trout version.

Where to find it:
Tassenberg All Stars Volume 3,(2002), Trippy Grape, TRIP006

Die Donker Kom Jou Haal – Valiant Swart

Deur Die Donker Vallei - Valiant Swart

Deur Die Donker Vallei – Valiant Swart

Having a title that translates as ‘The darkness is coming to get you’ is probably not the best way to advertise a song. I mean who wants to be taken by darkness. But when you add Valiant Swart to the promotional package, you have to say, ‘well we should at least give it a try because Valiant is a class act.’ Furthermore, the track is off the ‘Deur Die Donker Vallei’, an album about which the great Koos Kombuis once said that it was the greatest Afrikaans album ever made.

So put aside your fears. All this talk of darkness coming to get you and going through dark valleys with a guy whose surname translates as black is not something to be afraid of. Despite all this darkness, ‘Die Donker Kom Jou Haal’ is blues and blues of the highest order. From the very first guitar note you are sucked into a desolate landscape with vast blue skies, wide open desert spaces and a dizzying sense of being very alive. Albert Frost’s laid back guitar swirls with Schalk Joubert’s bass in a dust devil created by Simon ‘Agent’ Orange’s Hammond organ. It is atmospheric music that is there to comfort while Valiant’s voice tells of nightmares and darkness. It has a sense of being lost is a hell-ish place, yet strangely being at ease with this because the music keeps you safe.

There is space in this song, there is comfort, there is darkness, there is bittersweetness. It is scary yet life-affirming. It is a song that touches the core of your soul and makes you wonder how beauty can be almost painful. You want to immerse yourself in it and never come out. It is arguably the best Afrikaans blues song every recorded (although Valiant’s ‘Die Mystic Boer’ does give it a good run for its money).

Where to find it:
Deur Die Donker Vallei – Valiant Swart (2002), Rhythm Records, SWART004

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